Thursday, July 31, 2008


I am- 30 flirty and thriving.

I know- what I stand for and the standard in which I will be treated.

I want- to someday own a freakin’ home!

I once- compromised love for the sake of a freedom I didn’t understand.

I wish- I hadn’t.

I hate- when people pronounce the word nuclear, “nucular” –NUCL, people, not NUCU!!

I miss- John.

I hear- the air conditioning. It’s a quiet morning.

I smell- sexy! I’m wearing obsession –a gift from my mother-in-law.

I have- a crooked smile.

I crave- coffee. It’s my first non-human love.

I search- for the elusive umbrellas that I KNOW I own!

I wonder- how I’d ever survive without a solid foundation of faith.

I regret- a million stupid decisions I’ve made. Those who say they have no regrets bug me… I should have done a LOT of things better or differently –perhaps that regret is what drives me now.

I care- about my friends and family, deeply.

I will not- allow someone to treat me less than I deserve.

I always- want kisses!

I am not- an Obama supporter.

I believe- in God.

I dance- to “The Office” opening music like a wild banshee! It’s my happy place!

I sing- In the car –with LOUD music!

I don't always- wipe the babie’s bum when there’s just peepees. Am I terrible?

I win-NOT the lottery, but lots of life lessons. …Is that winning?

I never- follow through on a menu plan for the week. I need help.

I can usually be found- at work or with my kids.

I am happy about- my job –it’s a good one.

I tag- like my schweet friend Joni, anyone who wants to join in the fun!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Well we have a new family event planned for this weekend. It’s the Bear Lake Beach Blast 2008, baybee! This is what we all need to just get away and relax after such a stressful “vacation”! It’s another lumping of occasions –as a family of this size tends to do. First, we have Sarah’s birthday (July 28), then Granny’s birthday (July 29) and finally Mom’s birthday (August 3).
Sarah is Miss Single-And-Fabulous! Sarah is very dynamic with an eye for fashion and a really fun personality. She just turned 24 years old. She is the baby of the family, but has slowly changed her role into a bit of a care-taker when it comes to us helpless parents! She is hopelessly devoted to her nieces and nephews and loves each with such an unconditional affection. We all seem to be caught up in our own families, but she makes time for each child –and loves them all so individually. I wish I had more of that in me- to know and get to spend the quality time with my niece and nephews too… Thank heaven we have her for this! Beyond that, Sarah is crazy talented. She plays the piano, the guitar, she sings like an angel, and has a generous heart. There are few people who can do what she does: she’s a social worker for the State of Utah with DCFS. She sees some horrible stuff, but has the attitude that she can make a difference and help those families who struggle. It puts a human face (for me) on those who could be easily judged for their circumstances. I’m so grateful there are people like her who do what they do. I can’t imagine not stacking up the points in Heaven for this kind of occupation. Sarah is stylish and always looks amazing. I love how she’s so put-together; it makes me feel a little less high-maintenance! Happy birthday Sarah! You’ve come such a long way, and I’m so impressed with your accomplishments and your drive.
Granny is the bomb! She’s a southern woman with some hard-working roots. Granny had an extremely rough childhood, yet remained humbled and grateful through her whole life. She married Grandpa (the love of her life) and had two kids: mom and Richard. When my mom was 8 years old, they divorced due to Grandpa’s gambling addiction. Granny went on to work as a single mom, providing for two children as best she could. She worked her whole life –and ultimately retired and moved to Logan. She’s always been such an integral and pivotal piece of our family. Some Grandparents sit on the outside, but Granny is more than in the inner-circle. She’s an angel. Granny is generous beyond necessary; she’s devoted to her family and church, and has a heart of gold with her ability to love. I’ve never seen such an example of hard work, and what can be accomplished by putting your faith in the Lord. Happy birthday Granny! I love you so much!
What can I say about mom? I’ve written about her before, but I need to take a moment and thank her for what she does for our family. She’s the keystone. This woman is what makes it all work. Mom pulls the family events together, she is the direct communication for everyone, and her love goes deeper than anyone really indulges in imagining. It’s easy to take her for granted, and I am so sorry for that. Mom has had health problems all of her life –and is a miracle standing in front of us. She is accomplished, with a doctorate degree in Research and Evaluation from Utah State University. She devotes endless hours to teaching employment classes for the church (no pay), and is a developmental specialist. That comes in handy particularly, as she can tell us how advanced and amazing our kids are!! Mom’s love is unconditional, and she has a very specific way about her. I love that she’s so unique and has always been her own person. What did I get from my mom?
1- My creativity. I can write and rhyme like mom does.
2- My love for things beautiful. I consider it one of my talents –to make things pleasing, and to seek out what makes things lovely and pleasant –that’s from mom.
3- My articulation. Not that we have the same opinions, but mom and I were both debaters, and we both seem to be quite outspoken when we have something to say… And even when we don’t say something, we certainly have an opinion on it (and are willing to share!).
4- My tender heart. Mom and I have a unique bond, where our search for acceptance and peace in this life parallels. We seem to understand each other in a way that others may never understand.
Mom, happy birthday! Thank you for my life, thank you for supporting me. Thank you for raising me to be strong and to find my own happiness. I love you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bryant Family Reunion Part C

This reunion can be summed up in one word: memorable. Please note there are no frilly adjectives included. Tuesday (July 22) begins the snowball. I hadn’t felt well all through work, and as the day progressed, the worse it got. I decided I didn’t want to “mess around” with the situation and went to our trusty Dr. Duke. Bless his heart –after telling him I wasn’t going to listen to him tell me it was something serious (since I leave on vacation tomorrow), so he said he’d sum it up as some kind of “reflux” situation, and gave me a massive shot and renewed some meds, and sent me on my way. My stomach was cramping, I was puking, and it was an all-over ugly situation. I went home and slept. Now, this was the night that I was supposed to be organizing and preparing to leave for California –so believe me- from my little OCD perspective, it was a LOT of control to let go of and actually allow myself to rest. You know what they say; no rest for the weary. I got up only a few hours later (the shot should have put me out for the night, but that wasn’t in the plan) and started messing with all the work Lance did. *Sorry hunny*. After a lot of stress and even arguing, Lance and I decided to put it behind us and have an amazing trip. There are so many signs along the way here that were foreboding what kind of trip this was going to be…

We made it to Mesquite the next day after Lance started to get sick and we popped multiple anti-diarrheal pills. I felt like total crap, so I stayed in the room. We stayed at the Eureka –in the Bryce Canyon Suite –which was totally unnecessary, since there was 0 room for romance!!! Lance perked up and got to spend some time with his brother John

–who stays in Mesquite as much as he stays in Price. His kids Dekker & Caitlin came and played with Ella and Chaedon. It was fantastic to get rid of everyone! (Am I horrible?). I stayed in the room with Mia and we got some rest. After swimming, Ella wound up with a headache,so she rested with me. Chaedon stayed at John’s house and we picked him up on the way out the next morning.We traveled on, thinking we were much closer than we were. NOT SO MUCH! Lance became a bit frustrated with the length of the drive, and when Mia started with her diarrhea, we were in for some rocky times. She had 2 massive blow-outs in the car (not good for traveling in stinky-hot CA with flies who like to see what’s up when you open the doors for a pit-stop), and then on the last stretch into King’s Canyon, started throwing-up. NO bueno.

I will say this, we camped in heaven. The massive trees towered above us, the area was expansive and clean with dusty dirt across the ground. There were picnic tables, cemented raised fire pits (2) and we even had auto-flushing toilets in bathrooms that were part of our camp. We also had multiple “bear boxes” which were huge metal cupboards that all food items had to be kept in to keep bears away. We wound up in group site “B” as it was much better than “A” shade-wise, and the ranger told us it was more of a first-come first-serve basis in this respect. We all set up camp, and had an evening around the campfire as lots of relatives showed up to say hello! Lance was introduced to them mostly in the dark, but did well with names.
Friday morning I made pancakes. They turned out pretty good! It was Grandmother’s birthday. We all had a big breakfast. The family went for a drive to see some of the sights, but Lance and I decided we wanted to stay at the camp –as this is what our family enjoys the most. We love to just chill out and be together in nature. Mia took a nap, and Lance put together a bbq for Seuao –who showed up late, but better than never!

I got to go shopping at the gift shop and we put the dutch-oven potatoes together for the big dinner that evening. When everyone came back, Mia started to really display some of the sickness that I’d been experiencing. As the night went on, Ella slowed WAY down, and began to get sick too.

Dad and Dave gave the girls each a blessing, but that night was one of the WORST nights that Lance and I have ever spent as parents. Here is Mia after throwing up and ruining ANOTHER outfit (thanks Mom for picking up the extra 5 onesies that were ALL used and stained) taking a public bath.In the tent, Lance took the spot next to Ella, holding the huge bowl as she proceeded to throw-up at least ever hour. Around 3 AM, Mia lost it. I know she was starving from not having anything left in her tiny body, and being outside on an air mattress didn’t help matters. I had to climb out of the tent and scrounge in the bear boxes to find her bottle, and get some crackers. After I spilled the cooler and let out a few choice words, Lexie mentioned from her tent that she’d clean up the mess and I could get back to my screaming baby. Mia was grateful to have something to eat, but it wasn’t easy to get her to settle down. I spent a long time just sitting with her. Finally I spent the rest of the night (what, a few hours?) with the bottom half of my body on the hard ground, laying up against the mattress just holding Mia and hoping she wouldn’t wake and cry again.
The next morning was rough. I did manage to make sausage gravy for my contribution for breakfast, but I never tasted it. It was a queasy morning, but it seemed that people were kind-of on the mend. Ella sat in different people’s arms, and gradually perked up as time went on. Chaedon seemed to be doing well through most of this, but I guess he threw up a few times too. Early afternoon came around, and we got word that Dad was throwing up all night, and my older sister Rachael (camping at 8 months pregnant -unbelievable) was sick too. This is when the folks who reserved site “B” had us booted. Lance and I were flirting with the idea of leaving that night to save another night o’ misery in the tent, only to travel all day, and this sealed the deal. We all packed up the grounds, and moved to the other site. My siblings were left surveying the damage. During this time, baby Noah was puking, Mia was screaming, Lily had a blow-out, Benny started puking, all the adults were sweaty and hot and disoriented at moving an entire camp set-up, Seuao got miffed about something or another and left Rachael there alone, and then the tears fell. I lost it, and I know I wasn’t the only one. After some time, Dave offered a word of prayer and we all settled down a bit. We trickled into the pizza place and joined the rest of the family to share the status of our lives and where we’re all headed.
We then headed out in to the sunset. We said our good-byes, as it truly was good to see everyone, but in this case, it was just the un-controllable factor that called the shots. We needed to leave. Lance and I decided to make what we could out of the time we had left of our “vacation”… We stayed at Whisky Pete’s (it’s so fun to say!) for the night. It was good to be clean! Everyone seemed to be on the mend. The next day we shopped a little, and headed only to Mesquite. We had an ugly run-in with the Virgin River Motel (eew!) and rebooked a suite with the Oasis. It was fabulous!

Lance took the kids go-carting, everyone got baths, I was able to get some groceries and get a little better organized, and we all got to chill out! Lance and I really got to spend some good together-time, and we said over and over that it was the BEST possible decision we could have made to change hotels.

Yesterday, we headed home. We were late in returning the Expedition (black sexy beast we rented for the drive), but Lance will hopefully schmooze us out of having to pay for an extra day of rental. I started up the laundry, but lost all ambition. We put the kids to bed; I did my nails, and drifted off to sleep.
Vacations are great, and like I said, this one was definitely memorable. Hopefully, the next reunion will be a bit easier –and from a positive perspective, it can’t possibly be worse!!! I love my family so much, and it was a sincere pleasure to see all of them. 2 more years to plan something new and the idea of not changing diapers on the road already smells like a beautiful thing….

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Bryant Family Reunion Part Deux

Went shopping yesterday. Here is my happy Mia amidst all of the stuff! We leave for California tomorrow!!!
Read all about the Bryant/ Yosemite lineage!


Oh man. I have had headaches all my life. At one point, we had some doctors put me on different diets to see if they were food-allergy related. No luck. Migraines are rampant in my family. Three for the six kids in my family got them –myself, and my two brothers John and David. Rachael, Mary, and Sarah seemed to bypass this little gem of a gene. Both of my parents get them too. I remember MANY times falling asleep on the bathroom floor by the toilet with a headache. One time, I had a headache at Disneyland, and threw-up on Main Street USA. :( They got progressively better as I became an adult, but during my pregnancy with Mia –and especially after her birth, they came back with a vengeance.
Now my beautiful Ella is getting them too. They haven’t made her throw-up yet, but bless her heart, they’re real. It makes me so sad to see her in pain. This headache of hers was over the weekend –and I did get her to swallow a Tylenol which fixed it after an hour of sleep.
We’re heading out on the trip tomorrow, let’s all hope for no headaches!
Who wants these dudes taking care of you when you feel like crap?

Friday, July 18, 2008


Do you ever wonder what people would think if they really knew you? There are a lot of layers to me that are so different from what I seem to be to most people. There are so many different sides to what makes me who I am; without them, even the pieces that I do share with others wouldn’t be the same. My philosophy and the way I view the world is distinct and decided upon. I have come to a place where I truly do accept who and what I have become –and yet- am okay with the ever clear aspect that I am a total work-in-progress. I live according to the values I have within myself. My conscience, my actions, my words and thoughts –be they right or wrong—are from the experiences I have, and I don’t apologize for them. What is important to me might not be to others, and what I do compromise on is part of what makes me who I am as well. Perhaps this doesn’t make sense to anyone why I am writing this, but it makes sense to me. To those for whom I am not good enough: be assured that your opinion is nominal. I do take criticism well. I always have room to improve. However, who and what I am is of my own choosing, and if it’s not what is expected, then any space in my head or heart that I hold for you will ultimately close. My life is too important, too short, and all MY own, and the answers I will be asked for at the final judgment, are only MINE to give. If you choose to share some of my life with me, I welcome you with open arms.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Bryant Family Reunion part uno

It’s in less than a week!!! My whole family will be trekking to California for the Bryant Family Reunion. This is my dad’s side of the family.

The oldest generation includes Loya (my Grandmother –named after a specific grand rock in Yosemite), Barbie, Wayne, and Herwill (deceased just over 4 years ago).

These brothers and sisters have an amazing history with National parks- Grandmother’s dad was one of the settler/ trail-blazers for Yosemite. In fact, there’s a plaque there for him. The history continues down the family line, as my dad was born in the Grand Canyon over one of the summers his family was there.

We’ll be staying in King’s Canyon –linked with Sequoia & Yosemite- and my wing of the family (all my siblings & kiddos) will be camping! This sounds like a GREAT time, however, with little children, we could be asking for a lot of stress!! Mary and Allen are heading to CA early to spend some time with Allen’s family. Benny will be a vacationing pro by the time he gets to the campsite. Rachael and family are coming –and they’re still camping in spite of poor Rachael being 8 months pregnant! Next, Dave, Lex & Noah will be bringing Lexi’s younger sisters Desi and Kimi. Ella LOVES to play with these girls and it’s exciting that they’ll have the opportunity to see a different part of the country and hang out with all of us. These girls come to lots of family events, and have become part of our family. Sarah is hitchin’ a ride with Rach, but she’s boarding in a cabin with Granny. Mom and Dad are taking Granny and will be picking up Grandmother (who lives in San Bernardino, Ca) –they’re staying in cabins as well. We will be taking Chaedon along with the girls, which will be GREAT! Just like Kimi and Desi, I’m thrilled that Chaedon will get to see new things and spend some good quality time with all of us. We’re leaving next Wednesday, and the lists of stuff to bring are becoming INSANE!! *By the way, this picture does NOT do any justice to the size of the Sequoia Trees there*

So, I’m throwing it out to you, my faithful blog-readers! Do you have any suggestions on A- camping with babies, B- stuff that you’re pretty sure I’ll forget to bring along, and C- car/ entertainment suggestions for 3 kids on a 12+ hour drive????? Any additional suggestions will be helpful and appreciated!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Angels with dirty faces

Spaghetti Festivo! Look at the little angels I got to bathe last night!

Actually, this is mixed veggies & blueberries & apples & spaghetti. The schmere on the nose is the blueberry...
Spooge on the mouth. Kids are awesome! Yes, that is Shrek 3 on the TV. I basically record the stuff I want to see on the DVR and catch up in the AM while doing my make-up. It's the only time I get to myself! Night-time TV is a thing of the past! Ya know, these girls will only be little for such a short time, it's nothing to pay to get to spend the time with them. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Rachael is my big sister. Yesterday was her birthday, so I thought I’d take a moment and write about her. Rachael is aka Mach: which is a standard progression of a nick-name from my house-hold. Hence, we have Mary-Chewy (I spelled that right) and Sawa-BO-nana. I have often been referred to as Tha-Becca, so I’m certainly not exempt. Rachael has been a bit of the mother-hen of our brood. Mom was busy having lots o’ kids, and I think she kind-of took on a bit of a mothering/ worrying role herself. We used to fight quite a bit as I was growing up. Girls’ camp was no picnic!! We had to make pacts to keep our fighting to closed doors! As we got older, I remember my FAVORITE activity was zooming around doing errands for Mom with Rachael driving the family Ford Tempo (Lil’ Blue). We’d listen to righteous tunes and feel the wind in our hair as we hit Albertson’s and perhaps Burger King (back when whoppers were $1.00 apiece). Rachael earned her degree in Finance, and went on to serve a mission in Ireland. I went my own way too. When she came back something had changed. We went from being sisters –to being friends. I eventually married and moved to SLC, and she was there too –being single and fabulous- working for an excellent company. She’d come over and hang out with me all the time, and we really developed a strong friendship bond that is as strong as ever today. She bought her own home after some time, and made it possible for me to get out of a BAD marital situation, and I moved in with her. Since then, I’ve remarried, and of course moved away from SLC. Rachael has had boarders in her home ever since… Bless her heart, she married a wonderful man from Samoa –whose culture is to take care of family, and it’s never been a problem for them to have lots of us in and out -gratefully! Dad still rents a room from them during the work weekJ. Rachael has changed a lot from her relationship with Seuao. She has become much more easy-going, and of course, had Lily –the feisty and adorable one! They’re expecting number two in September, and we are so thrilled for them. Rachael is crazy-talented with the piano & French horn. She’s quirky –and doesn’t seem to have a lot of design sense. We complement each other as friends! She loves deeply and is a very loyal friend. Rachael, you’re my hero –and I’ve said it before; I love you and thank God for you. Happy Birthday!

Monday, July 14, 2008

OKAY! I stand corrected.

Fine, you win Donnie! It was totally worth it to camp "higher" over the weekend. I'm glad we wound up where we did... Debbie and Donnie set out to get a campsite and got one quite easily at Red Bank -just above Tony Grove. It was FANTASTIC! This was our view.
During the day, a baby bird fell out of its nest. Ella got to help take care of it! :)

Campfire times! Here is Ella and me!

Here's Ella and Daddy!

This is Debbie -my goregous Mother-In-Law.

Ella kept herself busy climbing trees!
Chef Lance -making a spantastic dutch-oven.

Okay, I'm a terrible mother. Amidst all of my running around, I neglected to bring something warm for Mia to wear when we came up. :( Here's my poor cold baby (who wasn't feeling the blanket around her shoulders) with Ella's sweatpants draped around her like a bib!

Wacky Ella.

Papa and Mia :)

My beautiful little girl. *I don't think I ever see her without a ring of whatever it is that she's been eating around her little mouth. I'm blind to it anymore. We can get home from a trip shopping, and it might dawn on me that we've been everywhere with spooge on her face. Oh well. At least here while camping, it's all part of nature.
Like father, like son.

During the weekend, on Saturday, my sista's came to Logan, in celebration of Rachael's birthday. We had a fun girlz' day -hitting the Farmer's Market, then Papa Kelsey's for lunch, watched a chick-flick at my home, then hit the salon for some fun pedicures. My toes look fabulous! What an excellent weekend! I'm grateful for some good family time. My favorite part of the whole weekend was Saturday night when everyone went to bed. Lance and I froze and cuddled -it was such a sweet moment. I'm so blessed.

Friday, July 11, 2008

A drive in Logan Canyon

Debbie is my mother-in-law. She is one of the most beautiful women I have ever met, with a tender and sweet heart –who always wants to help people. Debbie actually volunteered with CAPSA for a while and received a recognition award from the state for her work. I love spending time with her. Well, she and Donny decided they want to go camping this weekend. “Donny wants to go high” she told me –which means FARTHER AWAY for me (the runner to and fro with babies, getting forgotten items, etc.). We took a spin up Logan Canyon yesterday afternoon looking for a good site. We drove pretty slowly, checking out every sign, turning into different grounds and scouring the tags posted at each site for dates and availability.... NADA!
After driving through Tony Grove (one of the prettiest parts of the canyon, in my opinion),

I was pretty nervous about gas (had just under 1/8th of a tank left), so we couldn’t go much “higher” –they were considering Sunrise Campground –at the top of the canyon before you begin the descent into Bear Lake. Well, we found some that were available at Guinavah-Malibu
but I guess Donny refuses to go there. *We can’t figure out why, I love that place! Oh, well. I think that after our 3-hour excursion, there will probably be no big family camp-out this weekend. It’s all for the best, though, as I have lots o’ plans with my family and Rachael’s chickfest birthday bash! It was awesome to spend the time with Debbie, though. We listened to a TON of my tunes and regardless of potential criticism (there was none) I was belting out the songs as I drove. I actually find driving therapeutic. As I looked at the 60K miles on my trusty Corolla, and knew I put pretty much every mile on this car, it’s all been quite enjoyable. I like to drive. Thanks for a great afternoon, Debbie, even if we don’t make it camping this weekend!